Global warming may have fueled 2013’s heatwave epidemic

Global warming may have fueled 2013’s heatwave epidemic

In a collection of 22 peer-reviewed analyses on 16 extreme weather and climate events that occurred last year, which were published as a nearly 100-page report yesterday, international teams of researchers found clear ties between global warming and the extreme heat events that plagued areas from Australia to China in 2013.

Altogether, 9 of the 16 extreme heat events were at least partially attributed to manmade global warming. There were also some signs that the ongoing drought in California, the worst one in the state’s history, may have been caused by global warming as well.

Links between global warming and extreme weather and climate events were not obvious, but connections were clearest with extreme heat. n analysis of five extreme heat events overseas “overwhelmingly showed that human-caused climate change is having an influence,” according to the report.

“It’s a granted that climate change is influencing all manner of weather,” according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research meteorologist Martin Hoerling. “This report looks not if climate change influenced weather, but how it did, trying to quantify the influence.”

“This annual report contributes to a growing field of science which helps communities, businesses and nations alike understand the impacts of natural and human-caused climate change,” said Thomas Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. “The science remains challenging, but the environmental intelligence it yields to decision-makers is invaluable and the demand is ever-growing.”

Read more about the story at National Geographic.

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